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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

COMM5540M The Reporting of Politics

30 creditsClass Size: 32

Module manager: Dr Matthias Revers
Email: .

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The module will help provide an understanding of the way politics is reported on television, radio, the print media and Internet. The module will introduce students to the sociology of journalism and explore the relationship between journalists and politicians and the impact of this on political reporting. Students will examine the current public perception of politicians, the apparent disengagement of the electorate, the global nature of political activity, and the role of the media in the political process.


The module aims to develop students’ critical engagement with the media and its social impacts. It will provide students with the historical and political context to make sense of the relationship between the media and politics.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Use relevant sociological and media theory to describe the relationship between politics and the media
2. Apply their knowledge of the relationship between journalism and politics to the analysis of news coverage
3. Contribute to critical debates about the role of the mass media in democracy
4. Critically analyse the impact of the developing technologies of mass communication

Skills outcomes
Students will be expected to assess the relationship between politicians and the media and critically evaluate the reporting of political events.


- An examination of the sociology of political journalism
- News analysis
- Changes in news reporting – including the impact of digital media on political reporting.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours278.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Students will be required to prepare for weekly seminars – completing set readings and responding to seminar questions 66 hours
Students will be expected to follow political news regularly (1 hour per day) = 56 hours
Students will need to devote time to completing their two assignments – news analysis and essay. News analysis = aprox 40 hours. Essay = aprox 60 hours

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 3,000 - 3,500 words70.00
Source Analysis1 x 2,000 - 2,500 words News Analysis30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Summative feedback is given after the essays are submitted and marked and before the examination is taken. Final seminars are for monitoring exam preparation.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 11/09/2019


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